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Which USB GPS receiver should I buy?
juvete
I want to buy a USB GPS receiver for my laptop, but I'm not sure what to buy. Can you give me some recommendations?
By the way, which program has better detailed Canadian routes?
tcassidy
All GPS receivers made nowadays are great units. There is not a lot of difference to choose among them.

At this time Garmin Mobile PC has the best Canadian data for my area (BC). You can buy it with a USB GPS20x.

Terry
Ken in Regina
What parts of Canada are you most interested in? Large cities and major highways in well-populated areas like southern Ontario or BC's lower mainland? Or are you more interested in the boonies?

For areas of the country with high population density, any maps that use Navteq data are pretty good coverage in Canada. That would be Microsoft Streets&Trips and Garmin's City Navigator North America. Both use the Navteq data for their maps. You can use the Garmin maps with any of their personal navigation devices or with their Mobile PC or nroute programs on a laptop.

Microsoft Streets&Trips can be purchased with or without a very good GPS receiver (the Pharos 500). I think you can catch some excellent sales on the 2008 version these days .... probably get the whole software/hardware package for the price of a good GPS receiver.

You can get Garmin's Mobile PC complete with City Navigator North America 2009 (one year newer map data than Streets&Trips 2008) and a Garmin GPS-20x GPS receiver for about $99.

Streets&Trips 2008 is great for trip planning and not so great for navigation.

Mobile PC is a stellar personal navigation application but is not so hot for the trip planning stuff.

If you need good coverage in the boonies in Canada about the only product I know of that fills the bill is Garmin's Metroguide Canada. The data is from DMTI Spatial in Canada and is excellent. Unfortunately it's getting pretty out of date. It's still for sale but Garmin has abandoned it and won't be doing any future releases. That's not an issue for main or secondary highways and grid roads or towns and villages that have not seen a lot of growth, but in areas where there has been a lot of development it can be an issue. I don't know of any other product with such good Canadian coverage outside the high population regions.

I'm not familiar with iNav and some of the other products that are featured on here so perhaps someone else can comment on their Canadian coverage.

...ken...
tcassidy
iNav v4 has about the same age data as S&T 2008 which is poor in small towns. Their POI database for Canada is weak too.

Terry
Marvin Hlavac
Hi juvete,

:welcome: to Laptop GPS World.

iNav is just about to release its iGuidance 2009. It will include Navteq 2008 map data - the freshest Navteq map data of any of the above map products

As suggested earlier, any new USB GPS receiver on the market today is very good. Unless you buy one in a software/hardware bundle (for example the suggested Streets and Trips w/GPS, or Garmin Mobile PC w/GPS), you may want to have a look at the equally excellent GlobalSat BU-353.
juvete
Buying a bundle that comes w/ a GPS receiver is out of the question, as I want to buy something that will work w/ more than one program as well. I looked at BU-353 myself and thought of getting it, but I wanted to know if you had better recommendations. Looking at this thread now, I'll definitely get it.

Software side, I'll probably end up getting more that one program, as it's for my dad who's a truck driver and needs a serious GPS (not a toy lol). Also is DeLorme Street Atlas any good, I read it has support for UMPCs of which I already have one?
tcassidy
I have a UMPC with a 7" screen. Street Atlas 2008 and Streets & Trips would be my last choices for this device as they provide so little screen real estate to the actual map. They are not touch screen friendly either.

Both iNav iGuidance and Garmin Mobile PC do an excellent job for finger friendly small screens.

Terry
Marvin Hlavac
It's really not easy to recommend something. Despite the fact that Terry is absolutely 100% correct, there are many people who do run Microsoft Streets & Trips and DeLorme Street Atlas on small screens of UMPCs.

This may all be a trial-and-error process, juvete, till you find a product that your father is comfortable with. All of the above software may be suitable for the job, but different people have different preferences.

It's very kind of you to do all this research for your dad!
tcassidy
Here is what a 7" screen at 800x480 looks like with 4 of them starting with iNav iGuidace v4. The others are Garmin Mobile PC, Streets & Trips 2007 and Street Atlas 2008.

Terry
Attached Images
umpc-i4.jpg   umpc-mpc.jpg   umps-st7.jpg   umpc-sa8.jpg  
Marvin Hlavac
Wow, Terry you are fast! Nice comparison screenshots!
tcassidy
I was testing an iTrek M7. Nice device on Bluetooth and a little more sensitive than the GPS10x indoors.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by juvete
Buying a bundle that comes w/ a GPS receiver is out of the question, as I want to buy something that will work w/ more than one program as well. ...
juvete,

The GPS receivers that come with Streets&Trips and Street Atlas will work with anything. They are standard GPS receivers that you can buy standalone. And they are pretty good receivers.

I bought Microsoft Streets&Trips 2008, not because I have any great interest in Streets&Trips but because I caught a sale that the whole package was cheaper in a local big box electronics store than it would have cost me to buy a standalone receiver. The Streets&Trips receiver is a Pharos 500 and it works great. I have used it with Streets&Trips, DeLorme Street Atlas, Garmin Mobile PC and Garmin nroute and it works just fine with all of them.

If you get a GPS receiver that outputs NMEA data (and that's everything except a few of Garmin's), it will work with all the nav software out there. Very specifically, the receivers that come bundled with Streets&Trips and Street Atlas provide exactly the same data output as, say, the BU-353.

Just thought you would like to know, in case someone around your neck of the woods is blowing out Streets&Trips or Street Atlas packages with the receivers. Both should be seeing lots of discounting on their 2008 bundles because the 2009 stuff is about ready to be released. And it gives you a really cheap way to check out one of the software packages virtually for free. Win-Win.

Of course if you want a Bluetooth or combo Bluetooth/USB receiver the bundled ones won't do.

...ken...



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